Sunday, 21 November 2010

On to organised art. There are a few artists I found who seem to compartmentalise their illustrations, see below and you will understand what I mean. Nina Chakrabarti does these beautiful illustrations where everything seems to have it's own little place created especially for it.

Of course, if it is a representation of an acutal wall then I'm sure it looks identical but I think that these are the little tools and techniques Ian is on about me utilising as it shows my character and personailty in being a tidy and neat artist.

Another artist I like of late is Mark Fredrickson. With my ongoing experimentation with paint I have discovered his style which through charicature looks superb and so life like. Understandable he uses a lot of parody to mock the people involved and I'm sure t runs much deepe than what it appears on the surface to an auidence but it's funny to look at.

I had a look at the illustrators that Ale was influenced and inspired by and I am amazed at some of the work that came up in a simple Google search. It shows just how much I Don't know about the art world. Dave Mckean has some gorgeous if not slightly edgy work and I must say that all the names I typed in had some really beautiful work. Maybe my next step will be to contact some of these artists too and get their outlook on the world of illustration. Who knows they may even be as frank as Ale.

Here is a small selection of the works I particularly liked...

This one is by Dave Mckean, I really like the use of layering and texture, it gives it a really antiquated feel. The style looks quite old due to the layering and texture and it has some historical revival elements to it.

This one is by Nicoletta Ceccoli her characters are very similar to those that Ale creates. I think the major difference between the two illustrators is the use of colour. Nicoletta tends to use a more gloomy palette compared to Ale's vibrant colours which reflect her bright Mexican background and culture.
Again I really like the texture and the composition is beautiful. I think that if this is something I aspire to acheve I need to experiment and explore more with my technique and media. When I am given a project, the first thing I do is pick up a pencil, that is just the way I am programmed but for the next brief I will try and pick up a paint brush for example instead. I think I feel safe and comforted by pencil because it can be rubbed out if I'm not happy with the result. That blank piece of paper can be very uninviting and scary and with a pencil, I know it's properties and what I can do with it, how it can be manipulated etc. I definitely needs to push my boundaries and comfort zones to be producing work that I feel better about and that way will feel the need to show it off. A lot of the work that I post on my blog are from other atists becuase I do not feel comfortable in my own work yet, it needs imrpovement.

Friday, 19 November 2010

OMG! Here comes Ale's actual response to the questions I asked her, unlike Sara who just redirected me rather than taking the time out to think about the questions I posed to her, lets see what she had to say:

Hola Chloe,
I am back, I was taking a late honeymoon at the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, hahaha, finally after 3 years of being married :) I finally got one!
I've taken some time to reply to your questions, here they are

1. What are your inspirations?
I am originally from Mexico City, so I grew up in a culture filled with magic, surrealism, and very colourful traditions such as the "Day of the Death" (have you heard about this holiday?) So, growing up surrounded by this culture obviously affects how I see the world. So, as I go through my normal day, the most common, or trivial situation can become a story for a painting or a comic. Sometimes I am not doing anything and some great ideas will come into my head, but if I don't write them down immediately I forget them quickly. I find for me it is more difficult to actually sit down and start and finish a project, than actually generate ideas for them. I have books filled with little notes and fun stuff, I just need the discipline to sit down and actually create them into finished pieces.To answer you questions more specifically, I am mostly inspired by humourous situations, cultural mythology such as "the Day of the Death Celebration", characters, animals, magic and feminine power.

2. I understand you left your permanent job recently, how much passion do you have for your subject? And what drives you?
Yes, after I graduated from Illustration I encountered the reality that I was good at many things, but did not have a specific strength. For example, as Illustrators, we can do Graphic Design, and we might be good at it, but we were not trained as Graphic Designers. We can also do animation (sort of the animation you see on MTV channel, fun alternative stuff) but we might not necessarily have the specific skills to work in an animation studio. And the full-time illustration jobs, as almost non-existent. Pretty much solely as an illustrator we are almost meant to be freelancers.I worked at a couple of companies as a graphic artist, which in reality you do not get to express your creativity at all. These companies only want you because you know the software such as photoshop,, illustrator and corel draw and, you are basically a production monkey, getting paid minimum wage. So I got tired of these situation. Since I quit, I have been helping my husband with his business and designing his promotional material, such as flyers, website, business cards, etc. I have done a few design, illustration and one animation project for some clients as well, but to tell you the truth I am struggling with my finances.At the moment I am looking into the possibility of joining a multimedia animation studio, just because I would be thrilled to be surrounded by creative people working together :), and also because there would be more financial stability as well. But I would never give up on continue developing my personal business.You know, when people ask me, "why do you paint?, why do you want to do this?" I say, because it is who I am, it is inside of me and it wants to come out, I am the happiest when I do it, I feel everything is at peace when I do it, when I don't do it I am in a constant state of stress.

3. Would you class yourself as an Illustrator or a fine artist?
The way I define it is, I am an illustrator, whenever I create art for someone else ( whether its an advertising company or whether its your uncle) So basically you are creating an image, based on a specific or non-specific description of what someone else wants, and you get paid for it.I am a fine artist when I create art for myself, it can be a series of paintings for an art show, or paintings to explore a certain subject, but I paint something that I want. And someone else can buy it if they like it. As a fine artist you exhibit your work to the public through galleries susually.But surprisingly, we, as artists/illustrators are also some other things as well! We are business people, I pretty much write my own contracts and negotiate my payment rates and schedule. I also get to research how to protect my art and my copyrights, and how to become a better seller. You can also get an agent to do this for you as well, but it is simportant for you to know how it works.Also recently, I opened an online store and I am looking into a retail perspective for selling my art. So, as an illustrator or fine artists, you are targeting companies and art collectors to hire you, but as a retailer, you are looking the average person to buy your art as it is printed in products such as bags, t-shirts, etc

4. Why? As explained above

5. Who do you aspire to be like, if anyone?
This is a tricky one :) I do have several illustrators whose work I love and I usually visit their sites for motivation mostly. They are, Dave McKean, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Anita Kunz, Joe Vaux and Alyssa Deville. Alyssa is actually a recent graduate, the other ones are established illustrators.I would say I aspire to be like them for their success as illustrators and I admire their styles. There is something inside of you that either connects or doesn't connect with art. I strongly connect with their images and their narratives. But every one is a world on itself and I would say I aspire to be successful with my personal style and develop it to the point that it allows me to be an established illustrator with my own work.

6. When you are stuck for ideas, how do you dig yourself out of the 'hole'?
As I mentioned before throughout the day I am bombarded with ideas for personal projects. I usually get stuck when I need to create a piece for someone else, hahaha.So I invented these little process for myself. a)As soon as I get an assignment, I sit down and write anything that comes to my head related to it. I usually use bubble format and connect words that are related. Then I proceed to do little drawings of anything that comes to my mind, no matter how silly they seem. And it takes discipline, but I just sit down through it until I empty my brain and I do not know what do draw or write anymore. Then I take a break and go do something else.b) After I 've done this, I do research on the subject and maybe look at how other people have illustrated it. I do this as a second step, that way I make sure I do not get influenced by what I see for my first and original ideas.c) I sit down and look at my initial ideas and at the research I've done and basically I try to pair up the best stuffm or draw any other ideas that come into my head . I usually select about 3 - 5 of my favourite ideas and clean them up a little bitd) I narrow it to the to best ideas and redraw them a couple of times. Sometimes there is absolutely just one perfect idea and I only work on that one.e) Create the final piece.Now it is important to say that I follow a different approach when I am dealing directly with clients, because you will find that is often more important for them to be specific, clear and fast.So my process with clients is as follows:As soon as the contract is signed, after doing a) and b) of my personal process, I supply them with 3 - 5 thumbnail sketches, unless they require less or more ( it depends on the client you work with) and then we work the final from there. Sometimes if you give your clients too many options they get indecisive and confused. So make sure you show them your bestest and most clear ideas, and do not change the drawings once they have approved of them.There is a really good little book I got from my brother called: "A Technique for Producing Ideas" by James Webb Young, and basically describes a process similar to the one I invented for myself, its a good one, I recommend it.

7. What do you think of collaborations? And is it something that you would consider?
I've done some collaborations in the past and I love it. Just like life, sometimes art is better when its shared and I love how other people see different things in my art that I do not see, and when we collaborate we share new and different perspectives.Yes I am open to do a collaboration, if you have something in mind let me know! Also if you have some of your art online, let me know, I would love to check it out!
And, I have to ask, will you be doing any exhibitions in England anytime soon?I do not have anything booked yet, but hopefully I will. Is it ok for me to add your email to my mailing list. I usually send no more that 1 update a month about new work, online store and any news.
Thanks for writing Chloe, hope you are enjoying your studies!

How sweet an email? She sounded genuinely interested in me and my work and took the time out to write some good lengthy reponses opposed to one word answers. Thanks Ale, I will most deinitely be in touch in future :)

Thursday, 18 November 2010

I started my 'painting' phase the other day, a rule which I stuck to! I am very impressed with myself. This organisation will pay off yet!
Portraits are something that I've never truly felt comfortable with, so I'm trying out my technique and being proactive for a change! The top one is of my Dad and the sketch is of James. I think that the paint is good as a base but more definition needs applying on top. I have no idea how to go about doing that or even which type of paint would be reqired or if artists even mix their type of paint. I will therefore do some research around this too and which type of paint is best for which purpose. I don't want to be painting just for the sake of painting, I want it to be done properly.
I miss James very much as I'm sure you can imagine, I've tried to keep my personal life out of my blog as much as I can, but I have started to paint and sketch quite a few of our happy times together, and now I know he's coming home I have good reason to carry on! hehe :)
Certainly, defiinitely, 100% not inspired by being awake at half past 3 this morning trying to advertise my beds on the internet, they were giving me nightmares to say the least! Bit of a shabby start to the day, however some good news... I contacted Ale Diaz about a week ago but she was on 'vaction' so I should be hearing her response today when she gets back, so excited!!

Also, only 6 days until my gorgeous fiance is home for a short visit, things could just start looking up in the land of me :)

Down to the serious stuff, I have an essay coming up on Postmodernism and would really like to talk about Andy Warhol, except I don't think he can be described as an illustrator and the artist needs to be specific to your pathway. In a lecture last week there was mention of a Jamaican artist called Errol something of other trying to portray black children in a positive light for the first time. It could definitely be interesting and the themes would be plausible for the essay type, but the essay on text analysis was on racism too. I do need to find somebody/something that I am really interested in to make my essay more credible.

i will start with some basic research into Errol's work as a starting point and see what happens from there...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

I emailed Sara Fanelli earlier today. OK, I said I wasn't a huge fan of her work, but I was inspired by her creative characters and use of texture. Here's what the exchange of emails looks like...

Dear Chloe,

Thank you for the very nice message.
I think that most of your questions will find answers in an interview I did for Varoom Magazine.
I found the pdf online for you:

I am not having any exhibitions but a new children's book will come out in the spring!
With all best wishes for your work and future

On 16 Nov 2010, at 08:59, Chloe Jones wrote:

Hi Sara, I had a look at you work recently, and I have to say it is beautiful! It is so inspiring to see such a nice combination of texture, colour and character.
I am a second year illustration student studying at Stockport college and I was wondering if you could help me with a few points:
1. Where do you get your inspiration from?
2. Does any of your inspiration show in your work?
3. Who do you aspire to be like if anyone?
4. Do you collect media for a piece of work individually or do you draw from a large resource you already have?
5. When you hit that 'brick wall' how do you overcome it?
6. Do you work from comissions or are you employed? Do you prefer it either way?
7. Are you doing any exhibitions this year?
I understand that you are a very busy person, and so it would be much appreciated if you could find the time to answer my points I am struggling with
Kind Regards Chloe :)

How exciting?!
It appears that although these quite 'big' illustrators are very busy and working hard, they appreciate that they were once in the same position and help out where they can.
Thanks Sara, much appreciated :D
'Start wearing purple' by Gogol Bordello was brought to my attention by one of my fellow art students when playing it loudly on his iPod. At first it made me laugh with the strange combination of country backing and rock vocals. But after a while it became a catchy lyric and I now cannot get it out of my head. Here I share with you a bit of Gogol...

Monday, 15 November 2010

I am soooooo glad Aiden was voted off of X-Factor last night! I'm no big X-Faxtor geek, but I hate the whole 'goth' depressed stage that the world seems to be going through at the moment. I don't understand why people cannot inject the place with a bit of colour and vibrance. His whole attitude and presence made me want to vomit, he looked like he was having a stroke everytime he started to sing (no offence intended to anyone ever suffering from a stroke). Plus, the way he acted with Katy at the end was horrid. She was clearly petrified and he was like a piece of ice.

I am voting team Mary all the way, now when she sings the room lights up, and for me that is what music should be about. Go Mary!

Friday, 12 November 2010

So I started researching artists who combine colour and montage and I stumble upon Sarah Fanelli. Her work seems genuine but I don't like the style. She seems very vague and sketchy. To me it lacks the confidence and balls that Ale Diaz has in her work. Where Diaz seems to embrace the colour Fanelli seems to dilly-dally with it, in a sort of should I? shouldn't I? way.
For example, the image below has a genuine, childlike quality about it, she does experiment well with collage and media and it is still playful but it just doesn't grip me as much as Ale. Sorry Fanelli, but you just don't cut it for me...

I understand that I may come across as not having a particular 'style' and at the moment I think that I am still searching, I am still on that road of experimentations until I find something that I am comfortable with. I will just mention that I find a mixture of things very interesting and aspirational at the moment.

Towards the end of last year I was looking at Andrjez Klimowski and montage'y' type artists as I like the idea of mixing medias and techniques. But there is also a female Canadian artist Alejandra Diaz who I have fallen in love with. She is a young artist who seems to specialise in the very vibrant and enjoyable. Her characters are just adorable and her technique is fascinating. I definitely love her use of colour which you just don't seem to get here in England. When I was in Cuba earlier in the year, it seems to be a Carribbean trait to incorporate gorgeous bright, vibrant and gripping colours. I think that on a glum, dull day such as
this where the weather is so miserable and the people even more so, looking at work like hers can bring a smile to anyones face. She is an inspiration and if my work could take that shape (in a roundabout way) I would be the happiest person alive.

Predominantly working in paint, which is a media I need to start to use more and would love to start using more as I find it a very enjoyable media to use but just a little bit messy at times for OCD me! By surrounding myself with canvasses and paints however, I don't think I would have much choice but to face up to the concept.

It has been brought to my attention that I could also look at organized or structured art as this is a trait I seem to have. Art which follows systems and is very regimented. Working full time and studying full time means that I am very much like this in person and it would be a excellent choice to look at. For the time being here are some examples of Ale's work:

Stolen Peace

I have decided to take on the extra work of designing some pieces for an up and coming band from the north wet called Stolen Peace. Their first album debuts in February and I have been in touch with their representative to submit some possible designs. I am extremely excited at the opportunity to expand my portfolio and get some of my work out there into the actual world of art. I am dedicated to this brief as I see it as a real opportunity and have already had some fascinating ideas and design threads starting to unravel. I will be posting some of my ideas in later posts, so keep your eyes peeled!
You can see what the band are about at:


Got my mark back for the first module of the year, and to say I'm a bit disappointed would be THE understatement of the year. I have decided however, that I have had some serious obstacles and challenges this academic year so far and moving forward I can devote all of my time to my course and will learn from my errors. I intend to take on board the feedback I have been provided with and work with it to produce some fascinating work in the coming months and rise to the challenge and expectations that I have set for myself.
Next week when the Berlin residential is taking place, I will utilise my time well by working on my essay and my Illustrator skills, which could definitely do with a good brushing up :) Positive outlook for the future

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


I went to see Red at the weekend, starring Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren. I have to say I was surprised at how much of a comfortable comedy it was. Expecting high action packed filth it was a disappointment in comparison to Willis' usual get up, however the light hearted laugh it ignited more than made up for the lack of six packs. It is about retired CIA agents who are targetted as part of a political campaign in order to win presidency. 4.5/5!

Final Push!

Our collaboration has come on a treat and in the last few days everything and everyone has really come together. Our exhibition space is gleaming after a new lease of life with a lick of paint and our final outcome really takes centre stage. It is nice to reflect on what we have achieved as a team but also to look around and see what others have offered from the same brief.
I must say that we appear to be the only group who have not got some type of installation or animation on offer. Although, it was planned that way, we wanted to think outside of the box.
I have spent this morning creating our synopsis for the exhibition area. It goes along the lines of ... 'our final outcome is a reflection, understanding and journey. We have not focused on a major piece but the journey we have taken whilst working together. We have new experiences and friends that we can utilise for the future. Our work starts at the door together and finishes on the wall together, but the bit in between was us all having our own character and personalities along the way. All of us have brought something new, unique and special to the project'.
Overall, I am pleased at the outcome. It was a lot less stress than I had originally anticipated for and our exhibition space looks really neat. I am excited to present our work on Friday 12th at 11:30 am :)

Monday, 1 November 2010

I do much prefer the more subtle photographs such as this and the one where I cut the letter into the grass.
I think that they give a sense of intrigue that the other more blantant one's lack. They are more interesting because of it.
However, these are the one's which are more difficult to photograph as the ideas are very spontaneous and need to be captured at that precise moment which is not always possible.